We have to get up some time, she said. They were still in bed as afternoon shadows deepened around them like a scented sea.
Your wife called. She wants you to know that she’s been thrown out of the apartment where she’s been staying and that she’s in a shelter. She has a virus and needs money for a doctor and to eat, and, oh yes, your daughter has lost her shoes. I’m going, this place isn’t much fun today.
SEMITONE SUMMER BY ROBERT MCKEAN 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 35
Were the Stahrenbergers going to buy the house or not?
When he was cleaning out the attic, Charley discovered an old steamer trunk. Wool blankets riddled with moth runnels, yellowed sheets that threatened to crack when he unfolded them, a child’s gingham summer frock. The emptied trunk ended up in the otherwise empty living room, and it was here, finding a seat on top of it, that Ellen Stahrenberger would sometimes come alone, without her husband Franz, and brood, and sometimes weep. She and Franz had agreed to the Rankins’s price without haggling. That was back in April. Ellen was seven months pregnant. The night before they were to sign the p…